OTTAWA — The federal government’s latest COVID-19 projections show fast, strong and sustained measures are required to interrupt rapid growth cases and deaths.
Here are five things to know from federal modelling data released Friday:
The number of deaths related to COVID-19 is steadily rising, reaching more than 17,500 as of Thursday. The latest data show another 2,000 people could die by Jan. 24 as the seven-day average number of deaths nears levels recorded at the peak of the pandemic’s first wave in May.
Canada could see 10,000 daily infections in a little over a week as outbreaks in Ontario and Quebec drive rapid growth. The data also highlight high numbers in B.C., Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. The latest seven-day average was 7,900 cases each day across the country.
In the longer term, Ottawa says Canada remains on a “rapid growth trajectory.” The data show COVID-19 will continue to surge if Canadians maintain the current number of people they’re in contact with each day. The pandemic would surge faster if people increase their contacts. Outbreaks are forecast to come under control in most locations if people follow public health rules and limit contacts to essential activities.
Outbreaks in Long-term Care
Infections are escalating among high-risk people aged 80 and older. The data show more outbreaks in long-term care homes and retirement residences now than during the first wave. The federal government says the number of active outbreaks is underestimated due to reduced reporting last month, while a modelling chart shows it’s close to 400 countrywide.
The number of people in hospital due to COVID-19 has been rising steadily in the five hard-hit provinces. Hospitalizations are highest per capita in Manitoba, followed by Alberta, Saskatchewan, Quebec, Ontario and B.C.
The data came as federal officials revealed deliveries of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine have been temporarily reduced due to production delays in Europe.